REBECCA Review

Director Ben Wheatley Re-Imagines Daphne du Maurier's Novel with an Update of Hitchcock's Best Picture Winner that isn't as Disturbing as it is Aesthetically Pleasing.

ON THE ROCKS Review

Sofia Coppola's Latest Endeavor Finds Her Echoing One of Her Biggest Hits, but with less of a Focus on Depth and More of an Emphasis on Fun.

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 Review

Aaron Sorkin's Airtight Screenplay and Overwhelmingly Impressive Cast Execute this Vital Material in such a Fashion it Feels Genuinely Valuable.

POSSESSOR Review

Brandon Cronenberg Follows in his Father's Footsteps with this Grisly, Violent, and Ultimately Rather Innovative Piece of Sci-Fi Horror.

TENET Review

Writer/Director Christopher Nolan's Latest Opus Experiences Many of the Same Missteps of His Previous Efforts, but this Time Feel More Intentional.

Tavern Talk: Video Review - ONWARD

Disney and Pixar's Onward topped the weekend box office, but fell shy of expectations with $39.1 million. For Pixar, this is on the low end of expectations as many went into the weekend expecting the film to gross as much as $50 million. In terms of inflation, this is the lowest domestic Fri-Sun launch ever for a Pixar film. Sure, there is plenty of opportunity in the near future for Onward as many schools will be on spring break over the next few weeks and given opening weekend audiences gave the film an "A-" CinemaScore and a 96% audience score on RottenTomatoes with critics also favoring the film and no sign of any other broad, children's entertainment entering the picture until Trolls: World Tour on April 10th, there's definitely room for Dan Scanlon's film to spread its wings. Still, even if Onward has legs that get it to $150 million domestic which seems somewhat reasonable at this time of year and given that opening weekend number this would still only place it as the second-lowest Pixar flick between The Good Dinosaur ($123 million domestic in 2015) and Cars 3 ($153 million from a $53 million debut in 2017). Internationally, Onward grossed an estimated $28 million for a $70 million worldwide cume from forty-seven territories, with several major markets (including China) where it has yet to open. On TAVERN TALK this week we were lucky enough to have DJ Kramer from the Doug Kramer Live! show who also happens to be a pretty big Disney guy give us his initial reaction (wink, wink) on the film which you can of course check out after the jump below, but other films we've recently reviewed fared better in holdover news at the box office and I'd like to touch on a few of those titles as well. Beginning with The Invisible Man, the Leigh Whannell-directed horror re-imagining ended its second weekend with $15.1 million for only a 47% drop and a $53 million domestic pull along with a $98 million worldwide total on what was only a reported budget of $7-$9 million. Though its run may be over sooner than later given A Quiet Place Part II opens next week, it's likely the film could end its domestic run at around $81 million, or what Tom Cruise’s The Mummy did three years ago on a $125 million budget. Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog earned another $8 million in its fourth weekend currently giving it a $141 million domestic cume with $154 million overseas and a current global total of almost $296 million. And finally, The Call of the Wild rounded out the top five box office spots as the Harrison Ford-starrer finished its third weekend with $6.8 million for a domestic cume that now tops $57 million while internationally, the film added another $4.8 million for an overseas total of $42 million and a global tally just shy of $100 million. As always, be sure to follow the official TAVERN TALK by Initial Reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week!

ONWARD Review

It's difficult to say what one would do if they were granted the chance to see a lost loved one again, but only for a limited amount of time. It would arguably be even more difficult if that lost loved one was a parent and not just a parent, but a parent you'd never met before; someone who has always been a creation of your own mind via the memories of others. Of course, while some might argue the possibility of such a meeting, the actual chances of this happening are slim to none and writer/director Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) obviously knows this and that is, I suspect, one of the reasons he penned Onward in the first place. It's not necessarily wish fulfillment per se, but it is a fantasy of sorts in that Scanlon has no doubt imagined many times throughout his life who his father might have been or what it might have been like to share in a conversation with his old man. I'm probably jumping ahead there, but if you don't know already, Onward is inspired by the fact Scanlon and his older brother lost their father when Scanlon was one and his brother, Bill, was three. In Onward, Scanlon has taken the idea of this fantasy about meeting his father and literally placed it into a world of fantasy where we meet elves Ian (voice of Tom Holland) and Barley (voice of Chris Pratt) who, on Ian's 16th birthday, are afforded the opportunity to spend the day with their father. Scanlon constructs a fantasy world that has long passed its expiration date on the "magic" and "fun" that one would inherently believe comes along in a world filled with fantastical things as pixies no longer fly, centaurs no longer run, and the once mighty Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) has been reduced to parodying herself in what is essentially a mythical-themed Applebee's. It is in this fantasy-less fantasy land that there seemingly resides some kind of metaphor about failing to see the magic all around you due to focusing on what's been lost, but Scanlon and co-writers Jason Headley and Keith Bunin don't so much hammer home the symbolic nature of Ian and Barley's world, but instead choose to let the natural emotions of Scanlon's cathartic exercise breathe via the character development and creativity channeled through the heartwarming story. Does Onward reach the emotional heights of Up or Inside Out? Maybe not. Does it surpass the creativity enlisted in Toy Story or Coco? Not necessarily. What Onward does do though is serve as this largely ambitious endeavor that's presented through the guise of this quaint, familiar package. It's a familiarity that, even in a film with genuinely heavy moments and poignant themes, resonates comfort and charm. Like any good product of the Pixar brand, it will have you beaming through the tears.

Tavern Talk: Video Review - THE INVISIBLE MAN

Universal and Blumhouse's The Invisible Man delivered the goods this past weekend, becoming the first breakout among the numerous horror films that have been thrown at audiences during the first two months of the year. With $28.2 million, Universal and Blumhouse's The Invisible Man finished at the top of the weekend box office and on a reported budget of only $7 to $9 million I might add. Given Blumhouse productions that open in this range tend to go on to earn anywhere between $55 and $70 million things might not be looking so bad for Universal's "Dark Universe" after all. Furthermore, both critics and audiences responded favorably to the film as Leigh Whannell's (Upgrade) second feature currently holds an 89% critics score on RottenTomatoes and a 90% audience score. Internationally, The Invisible Man added another $20.1 million with its current worldwide tally sitting at $50.4 million. Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog landed in second place adding another $16.3 million, pushing the film's domestic cume past $128 million as it is now just shy of the $131 million domestic run of 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which will make it the second highest grossing video game adaptation of all-time not adjusted for inflation. In third place is Disney's release of 20th Century Studios' The Call of the Wild which brought in $13.4 million, dropping an expected -47% in its second weekend. The film's domestic cume now stands at $46.9 million after ten days in release and $80.7 million worldwide after adding another $11 million this weekend internationally. Of course, The Call of the Wild has plenty of ground to make up considering its $135 million production budget, but it seems doubtful the film will come close to that number domestically if not internationally. FUNimation's My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising landed in fourth place with a better than anticipated $5.9 million while Sony's Bad Boys for Life is still hanging on in the fifth spot as it added yet another $4.4 million this weekend for a domestic total that now tops $197 million. The threequel also added another $4.9 million internationally this weekend, pushing the international total to $208 million for a worldwide cume that just hit $406 million or approximately $8 million less than the worldwide total for the first two movies combined. As always, be sure to follow the official TAVERN TALK by Initial Reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week! Hit the jump to catch our review of The Invisible Man featuring Podcast 241 now!